JANUARY MORNING (Canada)
Carved out of the cold, Life:
2 ancient sparrows, soiled black bibs bob in sun
like sparklers thrown from a boy's flintwheel.
Only a war-child would rise to make cereal in this gloom.
looking in both directions.
If rust blights crops, there will be famine.
We listen to Wind & Wire music.
Bringing the bird bath in took labor:
the electric pump froze:
you had to lift out many, colored stones frozen
Is that gray luminous body burning above the sun?
With boy-bravado I
get down to things.
Day broke where no sun shines:
Whippets canter, ghost greyhounds:
Not that they've died & come back, but shadow creatures:
speckled, color of stone with snow dusting: a little pack of them
drawn on porcelain lamps: blues, cerulean:
One can trace the muscles moving like follow-the-dots.
Beneath this lean design
leather harness sketched in bark-brown: there are real beads of scarlet
But what omen?
Blazed by poems flash-cards or pocket-glass
as though some boy stood at the other side of a room
& shined a mirror to daunt, to blind.
Cacaphony of ravensound.
Frost outlines thorn-branches, bramble-wires.
Stabbing voices die down
& creep away
over field ice flat as Holland.
The sightings of the saints
(visions & convulsions)
to leave illuminated windows:
glass stones in a jar
Clarity comes in a ribbon of road:
rowing over platinum waves
to small stone church onshore: windows bright as rosin
with setting sun. A frozen drummerboy plays
a teal drum.
To See Bethlehem First or Last Time
Hieronymous Bosch painted horrors:
a poet's vision of hell
mirroring multiplications: fevers
peaking, then breaking
brought on by an old bitter
priest's tinctures, sanctions, strictures.
The poet became helpless
thru his vision
rested cheek against books:
tea-stained, tobacco-scarred. Then overcame fear, took up pen:
a little ghost greyhound, whippet
with ribcage so thin it mirrors winter's skeletal
The poet of earth, nail colored, took up pen in glittering light
to record that last medieval trait, self-possession.
Copyright © 2005 Lynn Strongin